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Weekly Update from the Field May 17, 2007
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* Update from the Field
* Take Action for Wild Buffalo ~ Boycott Beef!
* BFC Family Reunion: Celebrate Ten Years on the Front Lines!
* Support BFC:  The Earth Friends Challenge Grant
* Honor Father's Human & Wild ~ Handcrafted Father's Day Cards Available!
* Last Words ~ by Japhy Rider Sanchez

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Thank you all so much for your letters and phone calls of encouragement and solidarity after hearing about the unjust arrests of two BFC family members.  We are exploring every option and are feeling positive and strong given the wealth of information we have received regarding these unwarranted arrests and the unsolicited police brutality.

Things in the field have changed.  Most agree that the attitude of law enforcement has taken a five-year step backwards.  All this week as BFC documented bison harassment operations on public land - well within our legal rights as a media organization, not to mention our civil liberties - law enforcement officials working for livestock interests were using any and every opportunity to keep us from witnessing and telling the world what these agencies are doing to the last wild buffalo in the United States.  These agencies have even gone so far as to say that we are the ones harassing the buffalo! Mark our words:  the buffalo's story will never go untold and these agencies will always be challenged and held accountable.

Of course, we are dealing with the very same government that attempted to kill all the buffalo and the Indian people less than 150 years ago.  The government encouraged and participated in the buffalo slaughter of the 1800s, yet they are oddly celebrated for choosing not to finish them off after finding twenty-three buffalo who saved themselves in the shelter of Yellowstone's remote Pelican Valley. Now fenced-in public herds and buffalo ranches make up the majority of buffalo (or beefalo) populations in the U.S. and this is considered a "conservation success," while the Yellowstone buffalo, the last continuously wild herd, is prevented from migrating and suffers harassment and death for stepping foot across a political boundary.   The last wild buffalo are treated as ranch animals, and the government-backed cattle industry spins their propaganda machine to try and convince you that everything is just fine.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If the mistreatment of the buffalo invokes anger and frustration, turn it into action.  In the words of Ed Abby, "sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul."

The "tolerance" agreement that the IBMP agencies signed is null and void because the MT Board of Livestock doesn't like it.  The agencies never really put it into place anyway, and now the the Montana Board of Livestock (BOL) and stockgrowers associations are complaining that there was too much tolerance.  At a recent BOL meeting the cattle interests even complained to the DOL that they didn't bring the helicopter out soon enough, and after one particularly aggressive hazing operation, Meg Smith of the BOL called the DOL agents to congratulate them on a job well done.  There has never been one iota of compromise on the cattle industry's part, not one measure of cattle-focused risk management; all the burden is carried by the native wild buffalo.  If one private rancher (who doesn't even have cattle on the land yet!) has a problem with native wild buffalo he should either remove his cattle or put up a fence.  Ironically, about a week ago in Cody, Wyoming, a brucellosis-infected elk fetus was found on a cattle ranch, and officials remarked that since there were no cattle present, then there was no risk of transmission.  Given that Wyoming has just been reclassified brucellosis-free, it seems that the rules of this range-war change according whatever benefits the industry.

Yesterday the DOL hazed two bulls and the few remaining moms and babies off of the Gallatin National Forest into Yellowstone with their helicopter and then sent in horsemen to push them deeper into the Park.  They kept repeating the phrase "receptive habitat vs. lethal removal."  While thankfully no buffalo have been captured or slaughtered yet this spring, the industrial-strength hazing operations create a veritable war zone and take a tremendous toll on the buffalo and the entire ecosystem.

While the livestock industry has failed to prove that wild buffalo pose any threat of bison-to-cattle brucellosis transmission, they have used this cattle-borne disease to ensure that Montana will be devoid of wild buffalo in order to hoard the grass for cattle.  How can an industry that is so dependent upon government subsidies wield such decision-making power?  Why do those agencies mandated to protect and conserve wildlife cater to the whims of cattle interests?

Stopping them is obviously not going to be easy, but it is possible. Write letters, make phone calls, attend meetings, participate in blogs, boycott beef, join us on the front lines, be creative and tell everyone you know what is happening to the last wild buffalo.  With "endless pressure, endlessly applied," together we will bring positive change.   The buffalo will never give up, and neither will we.
Roam Free,
* Take Action for Wild Buffalo ~ Boycott Beef!
The decision-makers have decided to turn a deaf ear to wild bison advocates, choosing to serve only the economic interests of the harmful and heavily-subsidized cattle industry.  They wage a war against the wild backed by government funds (your tax money), donning hand cuffs and guns to intimidate anyone who goes against them. Those who we should be able to turn to for help, for justice, are all part of the problem, defending "the market" rather than life on Earth.  It all comes down to the dollar; anything going against that is to be ignored or even removed.  Politicians and decision-makers demonstrate time and again that the only thing they will respond to is money.   Herein lies your power - we can put our money where our mouths are.  We can make our voices loud and clear by voting from the pocketbook.   The cattle industry has a product to sell:  beef.  If people don't buy it, the industry suffers the consequences.  It's the basic economics of supply and demand.  You have the ultimate power over the livestock industry:  you choose to buy their products or not.  We are not powerless.

For the wild buffalo and all the wild animals and lands - and the cattle themselves - that suffer at the hands of the cattle industry you can do one thing to make a huge difference:  BOYCOTT BEEF!  It's that simple.   If you don't buy it, they don't get your money. Boycotts originated with Irish tenant farmers who were forced to grow food for the King of England upon their stolen ancestral lands, and were beaten and starved in the process.  Thanks to those courageous rebel souls, those days are long gone.  Boycotts work when people participate, so please urge your friends, family and coworkers to join with you in solidarity for the wild.  Do the restaurants you frequent sell beef?  Encourage them to stop (especially if it's beef from Western states) while wild buffalo are dominated by the livestock industry.  If they aren't responsive, let them know that you will eat elsewhere.

Spread the word to save the herd ~ BOYCOTT BEEF!

Read "How the West Was Eaten"  by Jeffrey St. Clair

Visit BFC's Boycott Beef web page for more information and resources:
* BFC Family Reunion: Celebrate Ten Years on the Front Lines!
It is hard to fathom that for ten years now, since April of 1997, the Buffalo family has shown the world the tragically disgraceful Yellowstone buffalo story.  All of the over 3000+ field volunteers, 20,000+ active supporters, prayers, songs, and stories of everyone who has done anything to help these sacred beings, your presence is requested.  Buffalo Field Campaign would like to invite you to West Yellowstone for our ten-year Buffalo Family Reunion during the week of June 4th through the 9th.  From June 4th through the 8th we will be engaged in work projects around our property, nightly campfires, reuniting, planning strategy, and holding vision sessions.

Saturday, June 9th, we will celebrate with a party with famed eco-rocker Danny Dolinger, gifted native musician Good Shield,  7th Generation Rise, and BFC's own volunteer band Prisoners of Time featuring Hays, Jesse, and a rumored special appearance by the famed Wally Festus Leusch.  Beer will be served at the event.  Camping will be available at BFC headquarters.

It has been a long hard road for our friends and family the buffalo and they still need all of our help.  Please come for the week, the weekend, in spirit or in thought, but keep telling everyone you can of the Yellowstone buffalo and their plight.

We will be holding a silent auction at the event and are are looking for donated items.  If you are an artist, craftsperson or have any items or services you would like to donate to the auction, please get in touch!

If you are interested in staying in town, need other special arrangements, or have any questions about the gathering, please contact Mike Mease at mease"at"wildrockies.org.

For the Buffalo,
Mike Mease

P.S.  If you are coming from or through Colorado and have room for others, please let us know because there are friends who could use a ride.  Thanks!
* Support BFC:  The Earth Friends Challenge Grant
We are excited to let you know about a Challenge Grant from Earth Friends Wildlife Foundation which has given us the opportunity to raise $40,000 to fund BFC's front lines efforts to protect the Yellowstone buffalo and their right to migrate to their critical habitat within Montana.  Every donation made between now and the end of May qualifies for the Earth Friends match.  All funds raised through this unique opportunity will go directly toward achieving long-term protection for Yellowstone buffalo.

Please help Buffalo Field Campaign remain a strong force in the field and in all decisions affecting management of this irreplaceable herd. Your support has enabled us to bring worldwide attention to the last wild buffalo in the U.S. and to hold government agencies and livestock interests accountable.  Thanks to the caring and generosity of you, our supporters, and the unique opportunity presented by the Earth Friends Wildlife Foundation, we can keep our focus on the bison, where it belongs.  With your help we can raise at least $40,000 in support of our front lines work through the Earth Friends Challenge Grant.   Ensure the future of BFC with a donation today. If everyone receiving this email answers the Challenge, we will exceed our fundraising goal and remain a strong presence working in defense of the last wild buffalo.

Visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/bisonmerchandise/bisonmerchandise.html to make a secure online donation, or mail your monetary gift to BFC, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.

Thank you for making BFC possible!
* Honor Father's Human & Wild ~ Handcrafted Father's Day Cards Available!
Gifted maker of BFC's Mother's and Valentine's Day cards, Kathleen Stachowski,  is creating handcrafted cards for the special men in your life.  BFC is now offering handsome handcrafted Father's Day cards!  This Father's Day, give the gift of conscience, justice and compassion.  Give the gift that honors fathers both human and wild. Give a handcrafted buffalo bull photo card that helps support BFC's work to defend the Yellowstone buffalo.

We're offering just one: a smaller (4-1/4 X 5-1/2) photo card featuring a bull bison photographed in Yellowstone (photo image is a smaller, specialty size) and embellished with decorative papers.

The sentiment reads: CELEBRATE STRENGTH! To go their own way, to follow their wild spirit, to persevere and endure. Buffalo Field Campaign is there to work for their future. A gift has been made in your honor by _________ to further this important work. Happy Father's Day!

"We will be known by the tracks we leave behind." ~ Lakota proverb
Please order by June 1st.  We'll mail your card to arrive by Father's Day.  Our small photo card is priced at $15.

Here's how to order: Click on this link: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807 or click on the "Donate Now" button on BFC's home page. Make at least a $15.00 donation. Under "Donation or Order" select "Father's Day Card." Scroll down to the "Father's Day Info Box and type in the name and mailing address of the card recipient and let us know how you would like the card signed.

You can also send a check along with the above information to the mailing address at the end of this message. Just make sure we receive your order by June 1.

Email barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org with questions.
* Last Words
Haikus for the Buffalo
by Japhy Ryder

~ The Sun
Sun's fiery light
A great glowing oasis
The brightest flashlight
A huge orange orb
Its love penetrates the heart
A great gift to life!

~ Montana
An ecosystem of very beautiful life
Let the bison roam!
Life moves in great leaps
where kids love wrestling Peet
Let us be happy!

~ Cars
A sweaty hot car
A sticky crammed container
When can we get out?
Sweat sticks to your form
Streaming down your body
Coldness is heaven!

~ The Field
Love flows strong
The buffalo try to roam
But they still cannot
The pen beats the sword
The buffalo need your help
We can feel their pain.

~ Camp
The camp has power
A big loving family
and Love IS Power!
We are united
like a huge buffalo herd
We share the same space.

~ Japhy has been a volunteer for the BFC for 6 years...he is 10 years old.  This Mother's Day he journeyed to West Yellowstone from Colorado with 6 of his friends to take action for the buffalo.  Stay tuned for more updates and photos from their trip!!

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